Recent Posts

Spring Cleaning: Does and Don'ts

4/15/2016 (Permalink)

Do:

Pressure wash the outside of your house! Not only will this make your home look nice and clean, it’ll rid it of mold or mildew!

Do:

Vacuum before cleaning kitchen and bathrooms! Moisture and dust are constantly accumulated in both types of rooms. Vacuuming before will make cleaning a lot easier!

Do:

Clean places that are overlooked. Walls, Door frames and baseboards are often forgotten about when cleaning, but like other surfaces, overtime they get dirty and need to be cleaned. Get a bucket of warm water and dish soap, along with a soft sponge, you’ll be able to clean those areas.

 Spring Cleaning: Does and Don'ts 

Don’t:

Clean your windows on a sunny day. It’s best to do it on a cloudy day. When it’s sunny the cleaning solution will dry too quickly leaving streaks.

Don’t:

Use too much! Using a lot of cleaning products can leave your house feeling sticky due to the residue left from the excessive amount of cleaning solution used.

Don’t:

Let the mess be a huge stress! Go through everything and take your time. The worst thing is too think there is a lot to do and just try to rush through it. Going at a good pace and taking your time will help make sure your house is the cleanest it can be!

Common Plumbing Code Violations

3/14/2016 (Permalink)

Plumbing Codes can be pretty complex which is why it’s a good reason to go with a professional plumber for any kind of plumbing work, but if you must install plumbing systems yourself, you have to make sure you’re up to code. Here are a couple of common plumbing code violations

Improper Slope

Improper pitch can allow for leaks and/or a slow draining of a sink or bathtub. Drain pipes need gravity to properly empty water towards the sewer. Standard practice calls for drain pipes to have 1/4 inch per foot pitch. 1/3 inch per foot is allowed if the drain pipe is 3 inches in diameter or bigger.

 

Not Enough Toilet Space

There needs to be at least 15 inches of space between a finished wall and a toilet. To measure this you go from the toilet centerline not from the outside edge.

Missing Clean-Outs

The number of clean-outs needed depends on the size of the system. According to the IPC, building sewers shall be provided with cleanouts located not more than 100 feet apart, measured from the upstream and trends of the clean-out. Clean-outs also need to be installed at each change of direction greater than 45 degrees in the building sewer, building drain and horizontal waste or soil lines.

Clean-Outs in Wrong Places

Should be placed in a way that they won't be covered by casements, cabinets or machinery.  cleanout should avoid places that have food, computers for critical areas, like an electrical junction.

Installing Improper Fitting for Changes in Direction

Change of direction in pipes must be done with fittings that will not cause any obstruction in flow.

Remember plumbing codes are complex, the best option is to get a professional plumber, but if you're going to do it yourself be careful and take all the right steps to make sure you do everything properly.

Stocking Up for Severe Weather

2/25/2016 (Permalink)

To be prepared for severe weather and power outages you should have a supply kit ready. 

The Supply kit should have the following items:

Water

  • One gallon per day, per person for 3 days is ideal

Canned Goods

  • 3 days worth; a can opener is also needed

Things for Charging

  • Batteries and crank chargers are great to have, it’ll make sure you can charge your phone

Flashlights

  • Lanterns and anything else that can create light are good to have in severe weather

Waterproof Case

  • For important documents

Make sure that you talk with your family to find a place to meet up, in case you’re apart when a storm hits.

If you have a gas powered generator leave it outdoors and never leave it in an enclosed space.

Pipe Burst Prevention

2/1/2016 (Permalink)

Pipes burst when very cold water goes through the pipes, making the pipe contract. This makes a pipe weak and can cause the pipe to leak. There is no, simple, sure fire way to prevent it, but we do have a few tips that will make it less likely!

  • When it’s severely cold outside leave a faucet or two cracked so there is a slow drip keeping the water flowing through the pipes. This prevents a rush of super cold water from getting into the pipes.

  • Keep the colder parts of your home warm. If you have a portable heater, shift it towards the zones that are usually colder than others.

  • Purchase and use ‘Heat Tape,’ this product will actually warm pipes up, which prevents them freezing.

  • Seal leaks that allow cold air into your house; i.e. around dryer vents or electrical wiring and / or pipes that may be going through the wall.  Make sure you pay particular attention to any leaks in or around water pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With extreme cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

  • Do your best to keep your house above 32 degrees. If your house never reaches freezing temperatures nothing can freeze.

  • Take your hose off the outside hose bib and make sure the valve inside the house is shut off if applicable. If a hose is on the faucet the water can’t drip out.

If you follow these tips you have done your best to prevent a pipe burst, but if one does occur; schedule SERVPRO of South Philadelphia to come out! Call (215)-243-0430 to schedule!



Ice Dams

1/24/2016 (Permalink)

What are Ice Dams

 

Ice dams are blocks of snow at the ridge of the roof that prevent melted snow from falling off the roof. This can cause water to leak into your home.

The Cause

For ice dams to be created there has to be snow on the roof and the temperature at the ridge of the roof must be 32 degrees or colder, will other parts of the roof must be warmer for that snow to melt. As the water attempts to flow off the roof the cold snow prevents it, leaving there to be a big puddle of water that can start to leak into your home.

Prevention

To prevent ice dams you can either scrape the snow off your roof or just control heat loss from the house.

If an emergency happens where water is coming into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.

A long term solution is to make sure your roof tiles are air tight, no heat going in or out. This will prevent parts of the snow from melting while other parts don’t. Once that’s done adding insulation would also help!


If an ice dam occurs schedule SERVPRO of South Philadelphia to come out! Call (215)-243-0430 to schedule!

2015's Best DIY Projects

1/14/2016 (Permalink)

2015 had had a ton of great DIY projects. Here’s our top 10 Do it Yourself projects of the year!

#10 - Utensil Drawer -View

A utensil drawer that isn’t cluttered is a great DIY project. Easy to do and fixes a problem that many people have.

#9 - Monogram Wall Shelf - View

The Monogram wall shelf serves two purposes. It looks nice and your wall and gives you added space to place other things.

#8 - Barn Doors - View

Barn doors inside look beautiful and give your house a unique look that isn’t found in many places.

#7 - Simple Kitchen Makeover -View

Minor things can change the entire look and feel of your kitchen!

#6 - First Day of School Signs -View

The first day of school every year is a time to remember. Having a nice sign can make looking back at the photos just a little bit cooler.

#5 - New Shower Door -View

For under $60 you can have a very nice shower door. It can completely change the look of your bathroom!

#4 - Hide Utility Box -View

Those ugly utility boxes can easily be hidden with just a bit of work!

#3 - Flushmount Light Update -View

Switch out the old basic dome look for crystals!

#2 - Bathroom Remodeling Overtime - View

Remodeling a bathroom can be expensive, but if done correctly you can slowly make it nicer without having to spend a lot at one time!

#1 - Building a Pergola -View

For a DIY pro, this can look unbelievable if enough time and effort is put into it!

A big thank you to Remodelaholic for all of the tutorials for the Do it yourself projects!

Methods for a Cleaner House

12/4/2015 (Permalink)

A clean house is a wonderful thing, but it’s not easy to accomplish when you’re always busy. Here are a few sure fire ways to make and keep your house clean.

1. EVERYTHING NEEDS TO HAVE A PLACE

This one’s simple, if you want to have a cleaner house, make sure everything can be put somewhere. If you don’t have a place for items, they get left out, thus creating a mess.

2. KEEP YOUR COUNTERS CLEAR

Don’t let dishes stack up on your counter, it looks terrible and can start to smell too. The only thing that should stay on the counter are things assigned to the area, like a blender or a bowl of fruit.

3. CLOTHES DON’T GO ON THE FLOOR

Clothes on the ground are one of the quickest ways to make your house seem dirty than it is. Just put your clothes where they belong, if they’re clean, in a closet. If dirty, put them in the wash or a laundry bin.

4. CLEAN WINDOWS

Streaky windows look terrible. A little bit of Windex now and then can go a long way.  Clean windows make the entire house look cleaner.

5. GET ON TOP OF STAINS

If something spills, clean it up right away! Don’t let it sit; it’ll be harder to clean up later.

These are 5 great ways to help make your home constantly look and stay clean!

Fall Maintenance Guide

11/24/2015 (Permalink)

Fall is one of the best times to start preparing for winter. Make sure everything is ok before it’s too late.

Home

  • Test Smoke Alarms

Make sure all your smoke alarms have batteries and work properly

  • Schedule a Heating Service Pro and Plumber

Both will help make sure everything's running correctly and won’t have issues later

  • Get Your House Ready for a Winter Storm

Have flashlights and batteries in easily accessible places. Canned goods and extra water is always good to have.


Outside

  • Have Firewood Available

Make sure the wood has been dry for at least a year to lower the amount of smoke or creosote build up in the chimney.

  • Gutter Cleaning

Leaves falling can get stuck in your gutter, clogging it and preventing gutters from being effective.

  • Snow Removal Gear

Make sure you have shovels, de-icers and other snow/ice equipment. A snow blower could also come in handy.

Cause and Prevention of Furnace Puff Back

11/18/2015 (Permalink)

Winter time is when Furnace puff backs happen the most. It makes a smell along with a mess in your home. It’s an expensive clean up, but it is preventable.

What is a Puff Back?

It’s a misfiring in the furnace that can cover your home with soot. It also can ruin your heating system.

Cause

When an oil burner doesn’t ignite immediately and oil fumes build up before ignition it creates a small ‘explosion.’ Add in potential debris build up and soot can go throughout the house through the heating ducts.

Prevention

  • Keep your oil heating system dust free

  • Every year inspect and service your heating system

What to do if a Puff Back Occurs?

  • Inspect how much damage has been caused

  • Clean any clothes and fabrics that may have been in contact with the soot

  • Any food that may have made contact must be thrown away

  • Call SERVPRO to get it cleaned up


If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, please call today!

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

10/26/2015 (Permalink)

With winter coming up it's time to prepare for the cold. Part of getting ready is making sure your pipes don't freeze and possibly burst.

WHY DO PIPES FREEZE?

When water freezes, its molecules crystalize into an open hexagonal form, which takes up more space than when the molecules are in their liquid form.

Water molecules expand as they freeze.

PREVENTION

  • By keeping you water warmer buy insulating your pipes, you limit the energy needed to heat water.
  • Covering outside faucets and spigots to limit the chances of water pipes freezing.
  • Allow a slow drip from the faucets to reduce pressure build up. Doing so will lower the likely hood of a rupture.
  • Use heater tapes wrapped around your pipes
  • Always disconnect your water hose 

If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, please call today!